Yeoli Childs is an absolute monster. We can learn from this game because they did a such a good job of sealing with their timing. —Mark Pope
OREM — Mark Pope would have loved to back up his team's humiliation of BYU a year ago in the Marriott Center on the UCCU Center floor Wednesday night before a sellout crowd.
But unlike the night his Wolverines made a school-record 18 3-point shots against the Cougars a year ago, this time his squad had no such firepower. BYU defended UVU to the core and Pope's former boss, Dave Rose, brought a half-court offense that slowly and methodically bled out Pope’s defenders.
Yoeli Childs scored a career-high 24 points and added 11 boards to lead BYU past UVU 85-58.
“Yoeli Childs is an absolute monster,” said Pope. “We can learn from this game because they did a such a good job of sealing with their timing.”
A frustrated Pope, a wizard a year ago, showed his frustration several times by talking firmly with referees.
Home game losses are tough. Ask Rose.
“This was more than a punch in the gut,” said Pope of how hard his players took the loss to the Cougars. “It was three 10 counts and a TKO.”
The Wolverines had no answer for Childs, a man among boys. In the first 20 minutes he hit 7 of 10 shots, made a pair of treys, grabbed four rebounds and scored 18 points to go with 3 steals, 3 assists and a pair of blocks. He finished 9 of 13 from the field.
Where the Cougars gave up 18 from distance in the Marriott Center a year ago, at this first appearance at UVU, Rose watched his squad make 12 of 26 to UVU’s 1 of 8.
Different karma, indeed.
Pope started off with 7-footer Akolda Manyang on Childs and he struggled. In came Isaac Neilson. Ditto on that. Childs’ superior hops, range and consistency were tough to handle. In the second half, Neilson and Manyang were used at the same time to plug up the paint.
🎥: Yoeli Childs (@yochilds22) had a dominant game with 24 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocked shots, 2 3-pointers and a steal in @BYUbasketball's 85-58 win over @UVUmbb pic.twitter.com/f90R7vYsZ9— Brandon Judd (@brandonljudd) November 30, 2017
Meanwhile, UVU didn’t get the 2016 defenseless Cougars, the ones they chased and embarrassed in the Marriott Center a year ago, 114-101, when Pope’s crew rained down bombs as if they were layups.
As the Cougars etched out a strong 42-26 halftime lead with deliberate offensive sets and a clawing defense, UVU had just 8 field goals and 12 turnovers. The best offense Pope had was guard Brandon Randolph carving his way to the basket with athletic moves as the Wolverines’ go-to plays seemed to drive the ball with Randolph and Jake and Conner Toolson.
“I'm not a big play-call guy," said Pope, who wanted his squad to play much faster and push the action.
You could tell this was a serious rematch for BYU, who had Pope's squad well scouted. When the UVU pilot called out plays, Rose assistant Heath Schroyer quickly barked out a corresponding defense.
“I am really disappointed in our performance,” said Pope. “BYU crushed us, out-coached us, out-executed us and out-toughed us. They were phenomenal tonight.”
Pope said he totally understands the sick feeling his squad is feeling because BYU can relate after losing on its home court to UVU last season.
“Those guys had to hear it 365 days, hear it from everyone, everywhere they went and now our guys are going to go through that for 365 days.”
UVU guard Randolph led his team with 16 points and made the lone 3-pointer for the Wolverines.
“We just have to move on to the next game,” he said.
Former BYU guard Jake Toolson thought the Wolverines didn’t move the ball fast enough and the ball got stuck on one side, making it easy for BYU to defend the outside shot because they had to only worry about one shooter. “We had too many turnovers (17) and played too much on our own.”
This was a big night for Utah Valley that turned into a big loss.
“That’s why we play Kentucky, Duke and this BYU team, is to see what we can be and learn,” said Pope.
Lessons can be tough while revenge can be sweet nectar.